Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Pomme Frites!

If I said "Paris", what would come to your mind? No, not Hilton! I meant the city in France.

There are usually two ideas about Paris. You would either say something like love and beauty or dog poop and rude people. Well, apparently there is something to be said about the power of French dog poop and rudeness.The French have helped to create mental illness in the Japanese who visit.

It was first written about in the psychiatric journal Nervure in 2004, something called the "Paris Syndrome." According to the article I read online from Reuters, Japanese tourists (my poor misguided brethrens) have a certain expectation of Paris. Unfortunately their romanticized dreams of Paris clash violently with their own cultural practices.

In Japan, the customers are treated quite royally. In France, the French prove to be royal *&%*^! The sales clerks don't pay them much attention. The people look harsh and severe. And to top matters off, the Japanese fall prey to the purse snatchers.

It seems that each year, about 12 Japanese tourists require pyschological help after visiting Paris. And I don't mean our western versions of needing a shrink to talk to about our problems. I mean these people are bonkers! Looney toons crazy! They are imagining that they are being bugged! Or that they are Louis XIV! Or that microwaves are attacking them! Like I said, bonkers!

So if you are Japanese or nice and polite or prone to losing it completely, I guess the best advice is to forget Paris. Remember you have been warned.

A trip to Paris may get you French Fried!

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